If you’re looking at treatment options for a certain type of cancer, your doctor may prescribe Kyprolis for you.
Kyprolis is a prescription drug used to treat certain types of multiple myeloma in adults. It’s prescribed for this condition in certain situations. To learn more, see “Is Kyprolis used for multiple myeloma?” below.
Kyprolis comes as a powder inside of a vial. It’s mixed with liquid and given as an intravenous (IV) infusion (an injection into your vein given over time). You’ll receive Kyprolis infusions at a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital.
Kyprolis belongs to a group of drugs called proteasome inhibitors, which are a type of targeted therapy.
Kyprolis contains the active ingredient carfilzomib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Kyprolis is not available in a generic form.
Read on to learn about side effects, uses, and more for Kyprolis.
Like most drugs, Kyprolis may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Kyprolis may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Kyprolis. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Kyprolis can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Kyprolis’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Kyprolis that have been reported include:
- digestive problems, such as diarrhea or nausea
- fatigue (low energy)
- insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- shortness of breath
- swelling, usually in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
- upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Kyprolis can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Kyprolis, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Kyprolis that have been reported include:
- high blood pressure
- infusion reaction, such as fever, vomiting, or chest pain during or shortly after your Kyprolis infusion
- kidney problems, such as kidney failure
- liver problems, such as liver failure
- low level of platelets (a type of cell that helps with blood clotting)
- low level of red blood cells
- severe bleeding
- severe lung problems, including:
- swelling or infection in the brain
- tumor lysis syndrome (a condition that occurs when cancer cells die and release their contents into your blood)
- heart problems*
- blood clots*
- allergic reaction*
* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.
Side effect focus
Learn more about some of the side effects Kyprolis may cause.
Heart problems were a less common side effect in studies of Kyprolis. In rare cases, heart problems with the drug can be fatal.
Symptoms of heart problems can vary depending on the exact condition you have. But possible symptoms include chest pain, swelling in your legs, and trouble breathing.
Certain factors can increase your risk of heart problems with Krypolis, such as:
- having heart failure or a recent heart attack
- being at least 75 years old
- having heart disease
What might help
Before starting your Kyprolis treatment, tell your doctor if you have heart problems. Also tell them if you have any other factors listed above that could raise your risk of heart problems.
During your Kyprolis treatment, your doctor will watch for symptoms of new or worsening heart problems. Tell them right away if you have any symptoms of heart problems.
If you do have this side effect, your doctor may stop your treatment until your heart problems are resolved. Or they may prescribe a medication other than Kyprolis for you.
Some people may have blood clots with Kyprolis. In studies, this side effect was rare in people who took Kyprolis by itself. But blood clots were more common in people who took the drug with other medications, such as dexamethasone and lenalidomide (Revlimid).
Possible symptoms of blood clots can include:
- swelling in your arms or legs
- leg cramps
- warmth, redness, or discoloration in the area around the clot
- trouble breathing
What might help
Tell your doctor about all other medications you take before starting treatment with Kyprolis. They can determine if these drugs may raise your risk of blood clots.
If you have symptoms of a blood clot with Kyprolis, call your doctor right away. But if your symptoms seem severe or life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to Kyprolis.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
- skin rash
- flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Kyprolis. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Kyprolis is used to treat multiple myeloma in adults. The drug is given to treat cancer that has come back or didn’t get better after past treatments.
Kyprolis can be used alone or with other medications as described below:
- If you’ve received at least one other cancer treatment in the past, Kyprolis can be used alone.
- If you’ve received one to three other treatments in the past, Kyprolis can be used with other medications. The drug can be used together with either:
Kyprolis works by attaching to a type of protein called a proteasome. Proteasomes help break down proteins inside multiple myeloma cells.
By blocking proteasomes, Kyprolis causes proteins to build up inside multiple myeloma cells. This leads to the death of the cells, which helps stop the spread of cancer in your body.
About multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma can cause symptoms such as:
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Kyprolis that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but the dosage you receive will be determined by your doctor.
Form and strengths
Kyprolis comes as a powder inside a vial. It’s mixed with liquid and given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. (This is an injection into your vein given over time.)
Kyprolis comes in three strengths: 10 milligrams (mg), 30 mg, and 60 mg.
Your exact dosage of Kyprolis depends on a few factors, including:
- your height and weight
- whether you take Kyprolis alone or together with other medications
- side effects you experience
- other medical conditions you have, such as liver disease
You’ll receive Kyprolis infusions at a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital. The drug is usually given on a once- or twice-weekly dosing schedule. You’ll likely receive Kyprolis for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week without any infusions. But depending on how long you’ve been using Kyprolis, you may receive infusions every other week.
Your doctor will explain how often you’ll receive Kyprolis infusions and how long your treatment may last.
Questions about Kyprolis’s dosage
Below are a few common questions about Kyprolis’s dosage.
- What if I miss a dose of Kyprolis? If you miss an appointment to get your Kyprolis infusion, call your doctor right away to reschedule. They’ll tell you how to adjust your dosing schedule.
- Will I need to use Kyprolis long term? The length of time you’ll receive Kyprolis depends on how well your cancer responds to treatment. It also depends on the side effects you may have. Talk with your doctor about the length of time you’re likely to use Kyprolis.
- How long does Kyprolis take to work? Kyprolis starts working right away to treat your cancer. It may take several doses of the drug before the amount of cancer in your body decreases. You’ll have certain tests done to make sure Kyprolis is working for you.
Your doctor will explain how Kyprolis will be given to you. They will also explain how much you’ll be given and how often.
Kyprolis comes as a powder inside a vial that’s mixed with liquid and given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. (This is an injection into your vein given over time.) You’ll receive Kyprolis infusions at a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital.
For details about what to expect with Kyprolis infusion, visit the drug manufacturer’s website. You can also talk with your doctor.
Using Kyprolis with other drugs
Kyprolis can be used alone or with other medications to treat multiple myeloma. This typically depends on how your cancer was treated in the past.
- If you’ve used at least one other cancer treatment in the past, Kyprolis can be used alone.
- If you’ve used one to three other treatments in the past, Kyprolis can be used with other medications. The drug can be used together with either:
In addition to the drugs listed above, your doctor may prescribe Kyprolis with other medications for multiple myeloma. An example is pomalidomide (Pomalyst).
Your doctor will prescribe the combination of drugs that’s best for treating your condition.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Kyprolis and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Kyprolis affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
- Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
- If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Kyprolis manufacturer’s website to see if it has support options.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Kyprolis.
Is Kyprolis a chemotherapy drug?
Targeted therapies, on the other hand, affect proteins and other substances that help cancer cells grow. These treatments don’t affect healthy cells as much as chemotherapy does.
If you have other questions about how Kyprolis differs from chemotherapy, talk with your doctor.
What’s the overall survival rate with Kyprolis treatment?
The overall survival rate with Kyprolis can depend on many factors, including the severity of your condition. (Overall survival rate describes the percentage of people who are still alive after starting treatment for their cancer.[AW1] )
Studies have found Kyprolis effective for treating multiple myeloma. For details on how the drug performed in studies, see Kyprolis’s prescribing information. You can also review study results on the manufacturer’s website.
Does Kyprolis cause hair loss?
But hair loss is a common side effect of other medications used to treat cancer, such as chemotherapy drugs.
If you’re concerned about hair loss during cancer treatment, talk with your doctor. They can discuss your risk of this side effect. And your doctor can suggest ways to manage hair loss if you experience it.
When considering treatment with Kyprolis, you may want to discuss a few things with your doctor. For example, you may want to tell them about your overall health. You may also want to tell them about other medications you take and other medical conditions you have.
These factors and others are described in more detail below.
Using a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before starting treatment with Kyprolis, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Kyprolis.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Other types of drugs may interact with Kyprolis. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with use of Kyprolis.
Kyprolis may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Kyprolis. Factors to consider include those in the list below.
- Kidney or liver problems. Before starting Kyprolis treatment, tell your doctor about any kidney or liver problems you have. The drug may worsen your condition. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Kyprolis than usual for you, or they may prescribe a medication other than Kyprolis.
- Lung problems. Kyprolis may cause severe lung problems, including respiratory failure. If you already have lung problems, Kyprolis could worsen your condition. Before starting Kyprolis treatment, tell your doctor about any lung problems you have. They’ll determine if it’s safe for you to use Kyprolis.
- Heart problems. Kyprolis may cause heart problems, including heart failure and heart attack. You may have a higher risk of this side effect if you already have heart problems. Talk with your doctor before starting Kyprolis treatment to find out if this drug is safe for you.
- Bleeding problems. Kyprolis may cause a low level of platelets, which could increase your risk of bleeding. (Platelets are a type of cell that helps with blood clotting.) If you already have bleeding problems, Kyprolis could make your condition worse. Before starting Kyprolis treatment, talk with your doctor about any bleeding problems you have. They can advise if it’s safe for you to use Kyprolis.
- Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Kyprolis or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Kyprolis. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
Kyprolis and alcohol
It should be safe to drink alcohol during your Kyprolis treatment.
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe for you to drink during your Kyprolis treatment.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
You should not take Kyprolis while pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor will likely give you a pregnancy test before you start treatment with Kyprolis. They’ll also recommend that you use birth control during treatment and for at least 6 months after your last dose.
But taking hormonal birth control (including birth control pills) with Kyprolis could increase your risk of blood clots. Your doctor can recommend a form of birth control that’s safe to use with Kyprolis.
Males* with a partner who can become pregnant should also use birth control during Kyprolis treatment and for at least 3 months afterward.
Breastfeeding during Kyprolis treatment is not recommended. You should wait at least 2 weeks after your last dose of the drug before breastfeeding.
To learn more about the effects of Kyprolis when used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, talk with your doctor.
* In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
You may wonder how Kyprolis compares with similar drugs, such as Velcade.
Kyprolis and Velcade belong to the same group of drugs. Both are used to treat multiple myeloma. But Velcade has other approved uses as well.
If you’d like to learn more about Kyprolis and Velcade, check out this detailed comparison. And talk with your doctor to see if one of these drugs may be recommended for your condition.
Kyprolis and Darzalex are both used to treat multiple myeloma, but they work in different ways.
For more information about the similarities and differences between Kyprolis and Darzalex, see this article. You can also ask your doctor if one of these drugs is right for you.
If you have questions about Kyprolis treatment for multiple myeloma, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you about Kyprolis and other treatments for your condition.
Below are a few questions you may want to ask your doctor about Kyprolis:
- Should I use other cancer treatments with Kyprolis?
- Will Kyprolis cure my cancer?
- Which forms of birth control are safe to use with Kyprolis?
Will I need to have lab tests done during my Kyprolis treatment? If so, how often will I need these tests?Anonymous
Yes, you’ll need to have regular lab tests done during your Kyprolis treatment. This is because Kyprolis may cause side effects that can be identified with certain blood tests.
Your doctor will order these tests to check for certain conditions before you start using Kyprolis. They will also order these tests from time to time during your treatment to monitor you for side effects of the drug.
Examples of lab tests you’ll need during your Kyprolis treatment include:
- liver function tests to check for liver problems
- kidney function tests to check for kidney problems
- blood tests to check your levels of:
If you have questions about lab tests you’ll need before or during your Kyprolis treatment, talk with your doctor.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses